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EASC Newsletter

A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

December 2015

IU East Asia News

3rd Annual Korean Night Is Largest and Most Successful to Date

October saw the return of Korean night to the IUB Campus. This year’s event, with the theme “Inspired: Korea in Indiana” proved to be the largest IU Korean Night to date, with over 800 attendees and a wide variety of activities, performances, and free food. The night began several cultural activity tables, which ran from 2-4pm. They included a family friendly environment where attendees were able to interact with student and community organizations, engaging in cultural activities such as Hanbok wearing, playing traditional games, or playing Korean musical instruments. The opening ceremony that followed featured speeches by Dr. Hye-Seung Kang, Associate Director of the East Asian Studies Center; Sang-Il Kim, The Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Chicago; David Zaret, IU Vice President of International Affairs; C. Diego Morales, Special Assistant to the Governor; Rafi Khalid Hasan I, the Safe and Civil City Director of Bloomington, Indiana; and Mark C. Minton, a former U.S. ambassador to Mongolia.

 

In one of the highlights of the night, local Korean War Veterans were invited to the stage and given medals by the Consulate for their service. The Consul General thanked them for their invaluable service and commitment during and after the war. One of the veterans then expressed their thanks and gratitude to Korea and their continued love of the country of Korea and Korean culture in a short, but very moving speech.

 

A concert of professional performances followed the opening ceremony, organized and sponsored by the Korean Consulate in Chicago. The program featured Western Classical and Korean vocal and cello performances, modern dance, gayagem performance, pansori, and a drum dance. Following the professional performances was the Taste of Korea event, which gave guests a chance to eat a delicious meal of Korean food from local restaurants Sobon and Korea Restaurant. This dinner was accompanied by a program of community performances by local and student groups, including dances by The Korean American Women’s Club in Indianapolis, taekwondo and yoga performances by the young students at the Bloomington Korean School a demonstration by the IU Hapkido Club, and with three exciting K-pop dances by the IU KSA Korean Performance Team and the Devil Force Dance Club.

 

This year’s Korean night also featured the opening ceremony for the Korea Corner, a new resource at the East Asian Studies Center in the Global and International Studies Building available in part through the assistance and generosity of the Korean Consulate in Chicago. The private opening ceremony and ribbon cutting ceremony were attended by representatives from the East Asian studies Center, the School of Global and International Studies, the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, the Korean Consulate, and IU’s Korean student groups.

 

Overall, the 3rd annual Korean night was the largest and most successful yet. Samson Lotven, EASC Program Assistant and Korean Night planning chair, commented,
“Korean night 2015 was wildly successful. The scale of the event was greatly increased from the previous years, with more booths, performances, food, volunteers, and attendees. And at the end of the day, I think people went home with a feeling that they were part of something unique.”

 

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East Asian Colloquium Series Continues to Thrive

 

Every semester the East Asian Studies center hosts a colloquium series featuring speakers from all around the world to discuss East Asian history, culture, and current events. The colloquiums are open to IU students, faculty and staff, and the community as a whole. This semester was a smashing addition to the colloquium series, featuring scholars from both IU and a number of other institutions.

 

The Fall 2015 Colloquium Series began by featuring a discussion of contemporary politics and anticorruption campaigns in China by Macabe Keliher, the Jerome Hall Postdoctoral Fellow in the IU Maurer School of Law and an analysis of issues of identity in contemporary Chinese boarding schools by IU alumni Timothy Grose (Professor of China Studies, Rose Hulman).

 

The series continued with the success of Donald Clark’s (Trinity College) talk titled “Can the Two Korea’s Ever Get Together?” The event was well attended and brought out members of the Bloomington community in addition to IU students and faculty and staff. Highlighting the complex history of the Korean Peninsula during the 20th and 21st centuries Dr. Clark engaged in a thought provoking talk followed by an active community discussion.

 

As the semester wound down EASC was proud to introduce IU’s own Michiko Suzuki (Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures) who provided a fascinating literary analysis of and unpublished Japanese novel and the way that 20th century development
influenced Japanese culture and literature.

 

In total nine speakers were featured in the Fall 2015 series, each bringing new insights and broadening our understanding of East Asian history and culture. We look forward to another successful Colloquium Series during the Spring 2016 semester. For more information about past or future events please contact EASC at eascprog@indiana.edu or visit us in our new home in the Global and International Studies Building.

 

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Chinese Language Education Thriving in Bloomington

This past summer nearly fifty students traveled from all over the country, and some from abroad, to the campus of IU Bloomington to study Chinese. Headlining the summer was the continuation of the IU Flagship Chinese Institute (FCI) featuring advanced students in
their second and third year of study. The exciting new addition to the summer language programs was the inclusion of Chinese, for the first time, in IU’s Summer Language Workshop (SWSEEL). FCI and SWSEEL offer 8-9 week long intensive study programs in which students engage in the equivalent of a full year (two semesters) of language study.

 

This summer FCI had 38 students enrolled in Chinese language classes three of whom were international students from Korea. FCI is an immersion program in
which advanced students live in IU student housing and are expected to exclusively speak in Chinese. Additionally they engage in a wide variety of cultural experiences including learning calligraphy and other exciting opportunities. FCI culminated with an exciting
talent show at the end of the summer. Students engaged in a wide variety of acts including musical numbers, poetry reading, performing original pieces, and much more!

 

The addition of introductory Chinese classes to SWSEEL represented a welcome expansion of what is already an impressive summer language study program. Featuring a dozen different languages, SWSEEL is one of the finest summer language programs in the country and the addition of Chinese only strengthened the program. The inaugural class had ten students from many different universities. One of IU’s graduate students, Piper O’Sullivan participated in this year’s Chinese class and said “It’s my favorite way to spend my summer, honestly. There’s really nothing else like it.”

 

Chinese language education continues to thrive at Indiana University. Thanks to FCI and SWSEEL, students travel to IU Bloomington to study East Asian language and culture. For more information about the summer language programs please visit the FCI and SWSEEL websites at iub.edu.


 

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Taiwanese Films Come to Bloomington

The Center launched its fall programming with a festival of contemporary Taiwanese film featuring four awardwinning productions by a diverse group of Taiwanese filmmakers. As part of the Center’s month-long Sensing Taiwan series, the films offered powerful insights into the dilemmas and pleasures of everyday life among diverse sectors of Taiwanese society. Combining worldrenowned directors with rising stars in Taiwan’s film industry, the festival appealed to audiences with its varied cinematic styles.


Emerging director Chien Hsiang’s 2014 production Exit kicked off the festival with a moving account of a lonely middle-aged woman seeking sensual and emotional connection. The award-winning When Love Comes (2010) by the controversial director Chang Tsochi vividly portrayed different generations of ill-fated women in an unconventional Taiwanese family. World-renowned Tsai Ming-liang’s 1994 film, Vive L’Amour, painted a brilliant picture of isolation and urban disillusionment in modern Taipei. The film portion of the festival concluded with Singing Chen’s 2007 film, God Man Dog, a story of diverse characters whose paths begin to cross in unpredictable ways as they struggle to create stability in the midst of turbulent life events.


The film festival culminated in a lecture by Dr. Cindy Chan of the University of Texas at Austin. Titled “From Auteur to Popular Art: The Commercial Viability of Taiwan Cinema,” Dr. Chan’s presentation charted the rise and decline of Taiwanese cinema from the 1960s to the present, with particular attention to the industry’s organizational culture, its artisanal mode of production, and connections to other film industries in the region. Dr. Chan assessed the current commercial viability of Taiwan’s film industry and outlined possible future paths to cultivate both Chinese language and regional film audiences.

 

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China Town Hall at IU Bloomington

On October 5th, Indiana University partook in the ninth annual China Town Hall. Sponsored by the National Committee on Chinese Relations and co-hosted by EASC and the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business (RCCPB), China Town Hall featured a national panel that was broadcast live to more than 75 locations around the world and was complimented by local speakers and analysts at each location.


The annual China Town Hall includes two components.The first is a national webcast panel discussion. This year, the panel focused on the recent growth of Chinese foreign direct investment in the United States. Former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, Mayor Sheldon Day (Thomasville, Alabama), and Mr. Daniel Rosen, founding partner of Rhodium Group, discussed the impact of Chinese investment in the United States, including job creation, revitalization of economically depressed areas, infrastructure improvement, and the deepening of ties between the people of the two countries, all of which help strengthen the overall bilateral relationship.

 

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IU President Speaks at U.S.-China University Presidents Roundtable

This past June, Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie spoke in Houston at a gathering of more than 50 presidents and chancellors of leading U.S. and Chinese universities.


Liu Yandong, vice premier of the People’s Republic of China, gave the keynote address during the U.S.-China University Presidents Roundtable.


The purpose of the conference was to discuss global education, research collaboration and cultural exchanges between the U.S. and Chinese institutions. “Today, there is a view in the minds of some observers that digital education can be a substitute for a formal
university education. I could not disagree more,” McRobbie told an audience at Rice’s Jones School for Business. “Digital education is a complement, a means to help achieve the enduring purposes of the great universities: the creation, dissemination and preservation of knowledge.

 

The second part of the China Town Hall featured a local commentary and discussion. Featuring Fu Jun, Executive Dean, School of Government, Peking University, Zhang Jian, Director of International Affairs, Peking University, and Russell Menyhart, Of Counsel,
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, the local panel reflected on the national webcast and discussed how the issues could potentially influence the local scene.


China Town Hall was a great success at IU. Students, faculty, and local community members participated in the international event in the new Global and International Studies Building. While much of the  national webcast focused on events and business
relationships in other parts of the country the local panel turned its attention to Indiana and the rest of the Midwest and potential business relations with Chinese companies looking to do business in the United States. IU was proud to be included in such an important and educational event and looks forward to similar opportunities.

 

More than 3,400 students from China are currently enrolled at IU. Last year, during his fifth visit to China as IU’s president, McRobbie presided over the dedication of the university’s gateway office in Beijing, which serves as a home base for its activities in that
country.

 

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